NBC New York:
This Friday, September 4. Could New York City be next?
- New Jersey restaurants can resume indoor dining statewide on Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday; capacity is capped at 25% and social distancing is required, along with facial coverings when people aren’t eating
- NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state is evaluating data daily as far as reopening NYC indoor dining, casinos and state movie theaters
- He noted business compliance had improved in NYC, which may indicate an announcement on indoor dining could come sooner rather than later
New Jersey restaurants can resume indoor dining statewide starting this Friday, Sept. 4, just in time for Labor Day weekend, Gov. Phil Murphy announced early Monday. Capacity will be capped at 25 percent to start and tables must be spaced at least 6 feet apart, among other precautions.
Additional information on protocol and requirements is expected later Monday.
Monday’s long-awaited announcement came more than a month after indoor dining was supposed to start in the Garden State. Murphy postponed it indefinitely, citing heightened concerns about increased infection risk in enclosed spaces like restaurants and gyms. He gave the go ahead on gyms last week.
Michele Siekerka, the president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, said Murphy’s Monday announcement on indoor dining was “unfortunately long overdue.”
He was among those who criticized the abrupt decision to shelve it before the July 4 holiday, saying the state’s businesses lost out on the “prime summer season,” losing patrons to open restaurants in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Jack Ciattarelli, a former member of the Assembly, is running for the GOP nomination for governor to take on Murphy next year. He also called the decision long overdue and said if health conditions permit, then capacity should be increased incrementally, rising to 50 percent by November.
New York City postponed indoor dining indefinitely around the same time as New Jersey did. No timeline has been set for its return but Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week that decision — along with reopening decisions on movie theaters and casinos in the state — was under “daily” evaluation.